We Ought To Say ‘If The Lord Will’

Instead of just assuming certain things will happen in the future, James 4:15 instructs that we “ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Notice this verse is talking about an “ought” (requirement), not just a suggestion. And the text says we ought to say, not just that we ought to think. There’s a difference you know.

Paul made a practice of doing this very thing – actually saying “if the Lord will” (Acts 18:21, I Cor 4:19, I Cor 16:7, Heb 6:3). We should follow those approved examples, shouldn’t we (Phil 4:9)? There’s more than just one New Testament approved example you know.

When the Oneness Pentecostals incorrectly insist in debate that we must orally pronounce a “baptismal formula” over the baptismal candidate that includes the word “Jesus” (so that “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is considered unscriptural), we respond that if they can find even one verse that tells us what the baptizer “said,” we will say and bind that. Aren’t we being disingenuous if we don’t follow through on that claim with James 4:15?

I think this would be like when our parents told us to say “You’re welcome” whenever someone said “Thank you” – they meant for it to be voiced, not just thought.  If God says we “ought to say” something, why don’t we teach we ought to say it?

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